Energy-efficient homes are quickly becoming a must-have today. In fact, more consumers rate the desire for energy efficiency higher than many other amenities in a home. Contractors are building more of these homes than ever, too, thanks to energy efficient home builder tax credit opportunities. If you’re interested in making an energy efficient home a reality for you, though, understanding what energy efficient homes truly are and what designs are most common within them is key.
What Is an Energy Efficient Home?
While many people say they’d like an energy efficient home, it’s not always easy to define this kind of property. In general, though, an energy efficient home is one that reduces energy consumption, emissions, and the overall demand for resources. While many people work to remodel existing homes to create that level of energy efficiency, many more are looking for new builds that incorporate the latest technologies to help create energy efficiency.
Three Common Design Elements
Energy efficient home design in Florida typically incorporates a number of different design elements to increase efficiency. Here are three of the most common.
- A Tight Thermal Envelope: This is the heart of any good energy efficient home design. It’s essentially anything in the home that helps create a barrier between the living space and the outside world. That includes the walls, foundation, and roof, but it also includes insulation, the windows and doors, and simple elements like caulk and weather stripping. With an energy efficient home, the thermal envelope creates a solid shell that helps control moisture, temperature, and air quality in the home.
- Extensive Natural Lighting Features: Throughout many energy efficient homes, you’ll find lots of natural lighting features. In fact, even the floorplan is usually created in a manner that takes advantage of natural light. For example, the kitchen and the bedroom in an energy efficient home usually face east so they get lots of morning sun but less sun in the late afternoon. Garages and laundry rooms are usually oriented toward the north because they require less sun overall.
- Passive Solar Home Design: This principle is utilized in a number of energy efficient homes today. The idea is that a builder uses the site conditions and the climate in the area to reduce the heating and cooling load of the home. For example, in Florida, a builder might ensure south-facing windows are well-shaded to help prevent overheating in the home.
Due to the energy efficient home builder tax credit, energy efficient homes tend to have other features that make them popular too, though. In most cases, they utilize advanced water heating systems that offer on-demand hot water heating so no electricity is wasted. Lighting choices are different in these kinds of homes, too. Timers and dimmers are fairly common, as is the use of fixtures that include LEDs. And thanks to the energy efficient home builder tax credit, many also incorporate Energy Star rated appliances, which can use up to 25% less energy than traditional appliances.
If you’re interested in an energy efficient home, Synergy Homes can help. We offer a number of different designs that are the perfect way to save energy with a great new home. Contact us today to learn more.
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